The Pittsburgh Steelers find that their 2017 season ended a bit prematurely, and are undergoing the exit meeting process a couple weeks sooner than they would have liked. Nevertheless, what must be done must be done, and we are now at the time of the year where we close the book on one season and look ahead to the next.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between Head Coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2016 season.
Player: Sean Davis
Experience: 2 Years
I think it would be safe to say that the safety position is the weakest and least secure position on the Steelers’ roster right now. While Mike Mitchell might be on his way out, and J.J. Wilcox may be coming with him, second-year starter Sean Davis did not take the sort of step forward that was projected for him, and that leaves some grave concerns about the future.
There are some who are hyper critical of him, and might even go so far as to just release him (Hi, Shane), but I think we all know that the odds of that happening are virtually non-existent. It’s also pretty much a certainty that he will retain his starting position heading into the 2018 season.
Personally, I did not find that he was consistently bad throughout the year. He had a period of several games toward the middle of the season in which I felt that he played at a generally high level, even if there was a smattering of mistakes present even in those games. But, as he did his rookie year, he directly saved a couple of touchdowns with passes defended in the end zone.
He is at his best capable of being a physical presence against the run in the box, and has displayed the ability to be an effective blitzer. He has the skill set to match up with most tight ends in the league in coverage (anybody who thinks judging any safety for how he covers Rob Gronkowski is a reasonable barometer is nuts), and he even managed to produce some splash plays.
But the problem is that he definitely isn’t always at his best, and sometimes that happens all too often. The frequency of missed tackles is a grave concern, especially considering that he also led the team in tackles.
He has a lot of work to do, but unlike many, I do believe that he is capable of putting in that work and being a quality full-time starter, albeit with warts. I don’t think he is ever going to be a clean tackler and he is not going to be heyday Troy Polamalu in man coverage. But he can unquestionably be a better product than he has been. That said, this is the year to prove it. The leash can only be so long.